My 21 year-old, 6 foot 6 son Ivarr, when not hunting females for phallic impalement, goes for action movies and shoot ‘em up video games. He is inspired today, having seen episodes of the TV show, “Zoo,” to torment me about the post-apocalyptic scenario of the revenge of the wild.
Dangerous animals such as lions and tigers will almost certainly be released from zoos by deranged animal rights freakos. These animals will breed up on human prey, mainly the rotting low hanging “fruit,” such as academic feminists, but will ultimately live on deer and the like, which will re-establish themselves in the cities.
The great Zanesville Ohio zoo escape, Muskingum County Animal Farm, is a good example of this. A depressed private zoo owner who had a private zoo, decided to set all of his vast collection of dangerous animals free before docking himself:
He had just been released from prison for the possession of illegal firearms. When he got back to the zoo and banged on the front door, and yelled “honey, I’m home,” he found that his wife had run off, probably with a monkey. He then blew his brains out with a .357 slug fired from his revolver, which is a good choice in suicide weapons. Full marks for weapons selection there.
Police had to kill 48 of 56 animals. They did not have weapons for dangerous game, but made do with .308 precision rifles, M4 carbines (5.56 mm round), and 12 gauge shotguns. Amazingly, one cop took down a black bear with one shot from his Glock .40 caliber, firing a 165-gr Winchester Ranger T-40 slug. This round is excellent on human zombies, but for a one-stop shot on a black bear – well, luck smiled on him. Apparently, the big black fucker, skidded to a halt at his feet.
The 5.56 round was not a great animal stopper, and is not recommended for use even on deer. It took on average 30 rounds to stop a tiger. Slugs bounced off heads. The animals ran off, rather than making a last ditch charge at the attackers, and if the beasts did, the cops would have been in deep trouble. The exception was the bear, mentioned above, who did advance.
The question that readers may like to contemplate, and which deserves the LaFond treatment, is in a collapse situation, there will be dangerous animals once again preying on the remnant. If one is in a jurisdiction restricting gun ownership, or alternatively, in the intergenerational collapse scenario, of a Max Max/Road Warrior world, one existing in some of James’s fiction, how will one deal with the return of the wild? Hunting parties with spears, recurve bows and arrows, traps, pits with bait, poison bait, come to mine: the way men killed these things in the past, for humans hunted and killed off the giant woolly mammoths and rhino, without even steel weapons:
Big, tasty mammoth steaks, followed by intense Ice Age banging of one’s woman, and maybe Fred’s woman too, as Fred unfortunately got crushed in the battle.
That presupposes tribal cooperation. But, can the Taboo Man, the outsider and loner, survive? I would like to think so, but the expert’s opinion is needed here.
Ivarr thinks that such speculation is just bullshit, and that one needs massive quantities of 12 gauge solid lead shells, and the chemicals to make gunpowder for the distant future. It will be guns for a long time to come, even if we go back to flintlocks firing lead rocks. Who do you, my brothers in arms think?
Eirik, as I understand it the megafauna of North America was done in by the Younger Dryas Event. However, they seem to have been successfully preyed upon by immigrants from Southwest France travelling in skin boats to the Chesapeake Watershed [then a valley] and that these folks too were wiped out by the immediate melting of the icecap by a meteor strike., say 11,000 BP.
From my study of pre-horsed Amerindian weapons and early European hunting—including Neanderthal, I come to the same conclusion as O'Connell does in Of Arms and Men, that the geography and bestiary of Europe, in which large animals had to be faced at closer quarters than in the grassland environs of Asia, Africa and North America, we find the key to the white man's dominance in ground taking war. We are speaking of pre-horsed and pre-sword tech levels—but we must not forget the sword's origin.
large animals like mammoths seem to have been poisoned, bled from afar, pin-cushioned and to have died a long agonizing death, unless they were killed in a stampede over a cliff, primarily a North American tactic of the west. I have seen these buffalo jumps and it would be the way to kill a herd animal at minimal risk.
But back to the Cradle of Barbarity.
Neanderthals ate 51% auroch—the biggest remains bovine possible, with thrusting spears, and often paid for it. this practice remains alive today in the rodeo and was once immortalized in Crete, Hellas and Rome and down to today in Spain, with bull-leaping, bull-dancing, etc. the Bull was the totemic animal of wrestling and boxing and was equally feared as the lion by Aryan heroes of old. The universal weapon of these bull-worshipping, and bull-slaying heroes was the spear, preferred at seven feet. The universal side arm was the war cub, and-or axe of Gilgamesh, Enkidu and Herakles, who all three have older roots than the military heroes such as Achilles.
Gilgamesh and Enkidu fought with axes and large knives in battle against Humbaba and the bull of heaven. Humbaba is a feline-ape composite that I think represents the primal lion-Neanderthal enemies combined in one mythic beast. Herakles uses a club most famously. He, and Odysseus also use the bow, Odysseus being the cunning killer.
Were is the spear you ask?
The spear is held by the supporting men of the hunt as illustrated on ancient Minoan potter. A hero would charge in close with shield and hand weapon with spearmen right on his back making a porcupine of him as he went in close with the 500 pound spotted lion of primal Europe.
The defensive-offensive weapon of the primal hunt is the spear, the only one of those mentioned that have both attack and defense properties.
The hero weapons, are in chronological order:
0: Spear, the necessary weapon for approaching and surviving contact with bull, lion, tiger and bear-sized beasts
1. War club, which evolves into oar, paddle, and slashing sword
2. Axe, which remains an axe and improved materially
3. Knife, which enlarges and becomes the thrusting sword
4. Shield, which becomes key to translating hunting to mass war
5. Javelin, atlatl, for wearing down large beasts
6. Bow and arrow for placing a killing shot as in the modern art of hunting
Note that all of these six men specialists all, from hero to sniper, are lion-meet of bull dung without a spearman. In the epics we read of the hero who goes in to take the maximum risk with axe, club and sword, not of his support men. Herakles was famed for killing lone animals of size with a club alone and so did a historic prize-fighter imitating his legend. But this was only for men of such strength and size as would stand up to a lion like a normal sized man might face a leopard, a superior creature, but still in the same rough size range.
For me, as an evil twerp of small stature, I would not travel in dangerous animal territory without a spear. I would also carry a bow and arrow for distance and a large knife for close quarters. If I had a large companion like yourself, he should carry a massive war club or, as your name implies, the brain cleaving battle axe. If powerful enough he might carry a shield too which would be useless against bovines by very handy against big cats and bears for avoiding those dirty claws.
A group of ten men would ideally consist of two archers, a big man with axe or club, and seven spear men. These would be able to conquer any single terrestrial animal via the three-range strategy of fire, stab and cleave. All would carry knives for desperate measures. but the knife insures wounding of the knife man, unless the beast was distracted by a dog or and-or already wounded by a missile, as per Messach Browning's over 100 beer and panther kills, which he accomplished with single lead ball, dog and knife.
Ishmael, Shayne and other hunters, please make a note of what the archer's conduct would be in such a primal fight between two or three men and a grizzly or bison.
Note, I have gone on an ancient—distant future tangent, where Eirik asked for near collapse. In the near collapse situation the animals to worry about will be human and canine, almost exclusively. For those I highly recommend a sword. The sword was the ancient adaptation of the animal-killing war club and knife for handier use against men. These work even better against dogs with their fragile legs. This can be a wooden sword, a war club. The ancient Germans defeated the steel-shod Roman legions with wooden swords. Sword notches have been found in these wooden swords. A good wooden sword would by shaped like a heavier steel sword, like the Chinese infantry saber or Aztec sword, that can be gripped two handed or one handed.
As seen in the outtake from the Conan the barbarian "wolf" scene, running from canines is not a good plan.